Everything you didn't know about Bake Off's revamped line-up

After months of debate over whether The Great British Bake Off's revamped hosting team will live up to the legacy of their much-loved predecessors, fans will finally get to judge for themselves when the series returns tonight.

Published 29th Aug 2017
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

Prue Leith will take over from former judge Mary Berry and previous presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc will be replaced by Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding.

Before you - and the 12 new contestants - meet the full team in the Channel 4 tent on Tuesday, here is everything you need to know...

Paul Hollywood, 51

The new presenters will join series veteran Paul Hollywood. Picture: PA

The Bake Off veteran, known for being Berry's more critical counterpart, will resume his role in the tent after moving with the programme from its original BBC home.

Growing up in Wallasey, Wirral, he first learnt to bake in his dad's bakery, picking up all the skills necessary to recreate the nation's favourite traditional bakes.

As well as six cooking tomes under his name, his own TV series include Paul Hollywood's Pies & Puds, Paul Hollywood's Bread, Paul Hollywood: City Bakes and a judging role on The American Baking Competition in 2013.

Prue Leith, 77

Prue (second from left) will take over from Mary Berry. Picture: PA

The South African-born cook, writer and business-owner has more than 50 years' experience in the food industry, which she has promised to pour into her role as judge.

While she is best known back home for her role in MasterChef South Africa, she has amassed UK fans by heading shows such as My Kitchen Rules UK and The Great British Menu.

As well as her huge fame as a cookery presenter and writer, she has seen success with her series of fiction novels - including Choral Society, The Gardener and Leaving Patrick - and is a strong campaigner for focus on healthy meals in schools.

At a recent event launching the upcoming Bake Off show, she joked that the new amateur contestants had impressed her so much with their creations that she spent the series sneakily taking down notes for a new cookbook.

Sandi Toksvig, 59

Bake Off

Sandi with co-host Noel Fielding. Picture: PA

Born in Copenhagen, Toksvig has an impressive CV of acting and presenting credits already under her belt as well as her history in politics.

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As well as a cameo role in Call The Midfwife, she has starred in The Big One and 1980s show No 73, she is a familiar voice on BBC Radio 4's comedy panel show, The News Quiz, and last year famously took the baton from Stephen Fry to host hit show, QI.

In 2015 she also joined forces with author and journalist Catherine Mayer to starting the Women's Equality Party.

She was described by Leith as the person in the tent most regularly making cups of tea for everybody during the filming process, especially tearful bakers.

Noel Fielding, 44

Bake Off

Noel with Pru and Paul. Picture: PA

Best known for playing the fantastical characters in his hit surreal comedy show, The Mighty Boosh, Fielding sparked the most controversy when he was revealed as the latest addition to the Bake Off team.

The comedian is also known for his show Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy and is a popular series regular on panel show Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

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His other acting credits include Richmond in The IT Crowd, Jones in Nathan Barley and various characters in Unnatural Acts, and he has been known to delight fans by joining his close friends, British rockers Kasabian, on stage from time to time - usually in glamorous costume.

While he has admitted that he avoids eating sugary foods, he has told of his deep respect for the show and its devoted fanbase, even though he knew many viewers were anticipating him to turn up "in a top hat and throw cakes all over the floor".

• The Great British Bake Off airs on Channel 4 at 8pm on Tuesday (29th August).

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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